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Create: Schools Monthly Free School News Round-Up

Our Free Schools Round Up will provide you with education headlines from the past month, featuring key updates on each of the free school waves including education and academy news highlights.


Key Updates on Waves

Special Wave

The successful applicants for Stage 2 of the SEND free school wave have now been announced. The complete list of all trusts approved to run the new special schools and their specifications can be found here. All successful applicants for SEND wave 3 have now been informed of the DfE’s verdict.

AP Wave

Additionally, March saw the announcement of approved AP partnerships across England. The full list can be found here, with a summary of the region, LA, age range and other relevant information available also.

Safety Valve

Applicants to the previously announced special free schools to be opened through the Safety Valve route in Cambridgeshire, Kent, Merton, and Norfolk are currently in the assessment stage. With the final deadline in November now passed, interviews are expected to be in progress, with successful applications anticipated to be announced shortly.

Wave 15

Successful wave 15 applications have now been confirmed, with a published list of all submitted applications available here. Applicants faced an initial round of assessment, followed by the interview stage, before successful applicants were informed of their application status. The published list of successful applications can be found here.


Free Schools in the News: This Month's Top Stories

The government’s Spring budget saw the unveiling of an additional 15 special free schools, alongside the approved 30 schools mentioned above in our summary of SEND wave updates. The schools are expected to be established and open to pupils over the next 4 years.

Thursday 7th March 2024 saw the celebration of World Book Day – an opportunity to commemorate authors, as well as encourage children and adults alike to engage with reading.

As we reflect on life 4 years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, research on mental health has revealed a troubling picture surrounding teenage boys. A study carried out by UK universities has suggested that in the long term, the mental health of teenage boys was some of the most adversely affected by lockdowns.

Condition Improvement Fund 2024-2025 outcome The DfE’s Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) programme recently unveiled plans for £450 million in its 2024-2025 programme. Further information relating to accessing support when securing funding can be found through our parent company PAG.

Research undertaken by The Education Policy Institute recently identified the existence of a ‘suspension grades gap’. The disparity between GCSE results is said to represent suspended pupils to be 12 months behind their peers.

A school in Middlesbrough was recently approved by the Local Authority to convert a decommissioned bus into a different type of learning environment. The double-decker is intended to be used as both a study space and a library to create an engaging environment for students.


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